CUNY Law School Ready For LIC Move
By JASON PAFUNDI
In just another example of the continued rebirth of Long Island City, the nearly 30-year-old CUNY School of Law will open in its new, state-of-the-art building in Court Square in June.
|The new CUNY law school at 2 Court Square.
Photo courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.
The move, which was announced in 2009, gives the school an additional 70,000-square-feet of space and puts it in a central location, steps away from numerous MTA subway and bus lines, the Long Island Rail Road and the New York State Supreme Court building.
“A move to this terrific location will greatly enhance our ability to carry out our mission to diversify the legal profession and to train the next generation of public interest lawyers,” said CUNY School of Law Dean Michelle Anderson. “With its greater centrality, our mission will be enhanced by our closer proximity to the public interest community and to our clients.”
After occupying three floors in Flushing, CUNY law will now possess the first six floors of a 14-story green building and will retain condominium ownership of their space. Citigroup will own the rest of the building.
The new facility at 2 Court Square is LEED gold certified, spokesperson Vivian Todini said, making it one of the greener law schools in the country. Anderson said that 90 percent of the structural steel in the building is derived from post-consumer recycled materials and construction waste materials were also 90 percent recycled. And when it rains, a 20,000-gallon storm water retention system will collect and recycle rainwater in the building’s mechanical system.
“By moving to 2 Court Square, we will advance our commitment to be a more environmentally friendly law school,” Anderson said.
The move will also make CUNY School of Law more accessible to a greater number of students, thus enhancing the prestige of the program, and Anderson said that staying in the borough was important.
“Our commitment to remain in Queens and to serve the poor here is unwavering,” she said. “The new, highly accessible site will put us in a better position to serve both those in Queens and a greater number of individuals and families throughout the five boroughs.”
Both elected officials and students agree that the move is an exciting one for both the school and LIC.
“The construction of CUNY Law School’s new facility in Long Island City is a tremendous addition to a neighborhood that continues to emerge as a hub for jobs, revenue and economic development,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria). “The additional students, faculty and visitors will bring more jobs, create new business incentives and increase revenue here.”
Student Thomas Mennecke echoed Gianaris’ remarks, adding that the old campus will definitely be missed because it is impossible to forget the history of CUNY Law.
“Change for the better is a great thing, and like the new Yankee Stadium, we’ll just bring the memories and history with us,” Mennecke said. “Being part of Long Island City’s exciting reconstruction is just perfect for CUNY Law, and our new location will situate us perfectly for fulfilling our mission in the service of human needs.”
For some, the ease in transportation was enough to make the new building a no-brainer decision.
“I’m excited not to have to deal with crowds and buses in Flushing,” said student Stacey Silliman. “The new location should be much more convenient.”
Administration, faculty and staff have already begun moving into the new building, and the school will officially open for classes in the summer.
Reach Reporter Jason Pafundi at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, or firstname.lastname@example.org.